Facebook is often in the news, and most of the time, it is not for a good reason. The latest issue to bring them a problem is their decision to stop news showing for Australian users. Once the Australian government ordered social media sites to pay for news, the facility was withdrawn. There has been quite a backlash, and some sizzling conversations like gra jednoręki bandyta and interviews have taken place.
There are concerns that Facebook and other social media sites are taking control of how people access information. Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, felt that Facebook was trying to intimidate his government and not stand for it. Australians think that they were severely treated by Facebook and considered stopping many Australians from accessing the news.
It was clear that there would be consequences for Facebook, but Australians in some government departments were in for a shock. Not only was the news blocked, but by mistake, there were also blocks and interruptions on specific government sites, including the emergency services and the health department. It seems to have been a genuine mistake because Facebook could restore them as soon as they were informed of the problem.
Solving the Problem
There were negotiations, and Facebook and the Australian government were able to agree. There would be a notification of a month so that the companies would be able to enter negotiations rather than accept the terms they were given. Facebook is happy with this as it gives them more control over the companies they will work with. They have retained the ability to decide what news is shown on Facebook, so they will not be forced to deal with all news outlets. For their part, the Australian government confirmed that they had found the negotiations difficult.
It will be interesting to see how the figures fare for Facebook. Will they lose followers, or will they stay loyal now the ban has lifted? There has been some analysis carried out a few days before a few days after the ban.
There did seem to be some changes when it came to the sites used. Before the ban was in place, searches would lead to genuine and well-known news sources. After the ban, the same searches brought up many sites that were not well known and often provided incorrect information.
11 Million Australian Users
Fact-checking seems to be a significant concern. Although Facebook is not the primary way to check facts, users find it challenging to do it this way. Research has shown that 11 million Facebook users use this site as the direct way they access news. It is important that they can check that the information they are given is accurate.
It is clearly worrying to the Australian government that there may be a large amount of misinformation being spread with no way of stopping it. They are hoping to soon engage with users who would want to use sites other than ABC.